Bar Jester Chronicles 4: Notes for a Campus Novel

Dr. Skip Pitt: Saxophonist. Drunk. Seldom shows up to teach his lessons. Speaks ill of all other musicians and especially of students. Plays in bars most nights. Grows his own pot. Self-absorbed and exceedingly dull. Manages to bring his years at Julliard into every conversation (he was a custodian there as a teenager). Narrative purpose: to represent single heterosexual male musicians accurately.

Dr. Mick Flequeneaux: “Queen of dullness absolute” (narrator’s nickname for him). Duplicitous conniving self-serving—and woefully undereducated—sonofabitch who likes to wear panty hose. Narrative purpose: to show what literary theorists are really like.

Dr. Peter Chaiser. Chairman of the music department [needs more thought]

Dr. Adam Eve: Guilt-ridden physicist afraid to go public with his discovery: that matter doesn’t exist.

Dr. Barb Wire: Professor of Feminist Theory. Refuses to read anything before 1960. Once held a mock memorial service on the campus quad for the “deceased patriarchy”; concluded her eulogy with a promise to “go home and weep like Alexander the Great, for there is nothing left to conquer!”—to the thunderous applause of her sole fellowette mourner, Carry Grudge.

Tip Mehoff: editor, student paper. Narrative purpose: to catch Dr. Barb Wire plagiarizing Wikipedia in one of her articles for Phallusy: A Journal of Theoretical Sisterhood.

Bud Smith: golf course superintendent and man of few words. Well-adjusted, level-headed, and competent. Possesses several practical skills, including the management of unruly crew members. Stays within his budget. Stays out of view of the members; has no truck with pro shop staff. Shows up for work at 4:30 each morning and leaves when the work is done. He and his son are building a canoe in their garage.

Jim Olsen: Crew member. Lives on coffee, donuts, Burger King, and marijuana.

Mark Stanley: Crew member indistinguishable from Jim Olsen.

Tiffany Johnson: Drink cart girl and junior accounting major at Flahtsum. Incapable of real work. Hair color: chemical. Measurements: impressive but subject to change. Enjoys being eyed by the golfers. Should have an empty feeling inside—a “feeling that there’s so much more to life that being looked at and having fun”—but doesn’t.

Plot: Damnation! Almost forgot that something has to happen! [Note to self: consider letting action proceed from character.]

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11 comments on this post.
  1. Bob Cheeks:

    This must stop!

    As a 1967 graduate of Flahtsum College, later Flahtsum University (FU), with an Associate in Applied Secondary Science (A ASS)I can attest to the rigorous academic requirements of Flathsum’s technical courses.

    I dated, for a short time, Ms. Doe’s mother, Aphilia Thi, a Greek girl!

    This “novel” will work, we’re talking Pulitzer, and the best T.V. series since…, Mash!

    Jeez, I shoulda been a teacher, is it always this much fun?

  2. Russell Arben Fox:

    “Oh God, our Dance Partner!”

    I laughed out loud at this. Good work. This is funny–mean, and probably more than a little self-serving, but also funny. I have no idea what, if anything, is localist about it, but develop it, and give us a first chapter or two.

  3. Shelley Burbank:

    Too funny! Thanks for a good laugh this morning.

  4. Katherine Dalton:

    The great Floridian George Garrett is dead, but the noble and necessary inclincation toward “Poison Pen”-manship lives on in you, Jason. I am sending you a John Towne Lives T-shirt in honor of your efforts.

  5. Thomas G.:

    Please, please, please, follow through and write this novel. It’s Pulitzer material!

  6. D.W. Sabin:

    Please do make sure to give a complete syllabus of the “Studies in Excellence Department”.

    I hope Pastor Chad also conducts a weekly Weight Lifting Clinic named “Pumping Iron For The Lord”.

    One does not have to resort to meanness in this daft age because simply taking notes on what really happens is funny as ..well….hell.

  7. Kenneth McIntyre:

    I think that you forgot Lionel Foxworthy, Professor of Political Theory and Director of the new Olin Center of Islamofascism Studies. Author of such works as ‘Abraham Lincoln: America’s Philosopher-King’, ‘Esoterica for Dummies: or How I Know that Plato and Aristotle Were Actually the Same Person’, ‘An Introduction to Numerology: The Classical Political Art’, and his most recent work, ‘Regime Change, the Unitary Executive, and the Founders’ Secret Plan for the New World Order’. Often on sabbatical when Republicans are in the White House. Because of his knowledge of first philosophy, qualified to teach any course that the university offers.

  8. Christopher Anadale:

    Kenneth: Too realistic, again.

  9. MBJ:

    Professor Foxworthy is a very realistic, but — as Kenneth and Christopher both know — also a very *rare* academic character-type.

  10. CJ Nottingham:

    Worthy of Percy…really. Percy being channelled through the Tappet Brothers.

  11. Barry:

    Eh. Reads like something that P. J. O’Rourke might be using as an outline for a proposed novel. Now, if you could (a) actually write it, and (b) not have it sound like Rush Limbaugh fanfic, that’d be great.

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